Your Guide to Telehealth for Diabetes

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7 Ways Telehealth Appointments for Diabetes Will Simplify Your Life

  • closeup of two hands holding computer tablet during telehealth appointment with doctor
    Telehealth can make diabetes more doable.
    Diabetes is a complex condition. Managing it requires a team of healthcare specialists, self-management, and lifelong monitoring. It’s a lot to take on. It can be hard to juggle in-person doctor’s appointments with work and family responsibilities, and the cost of care can add up. Telehealth solves these challenges, so doing everything that needs to be done is more realistic. Learn how telehealth can bring diabetes treatment to you, lower the cost of care, and keep your life in balance.
  • female patient sitting on couch waving during telehealth session with female doctor
    1. With telehealth, diabetes treatment comes to you.
    Managing diabetes requires regular check-ins. If your treatment plan includes insulin injections, you can expect to see your doctor every three to four months. If your plan includes taking insulin by mouth or a special diet, you’ll see your doctor every four to six months. Telehealth makes fitting in appointments much easier. You can “see” a specialist in your home via video chat, phone call, or digital message instead of driving across town.
  • senior-couple-eating-breakfast
    3. Telehealth makes diabetes appointments quicker.
    Think of all the time you normally spend on a doctor’s appointment. You have to call ahead, find parking, sign in, and sit in the waiting room. You’re shown to the exam room, then wait there. After you talk with your doctor, you wait for prescriptions, then wait to check out. Telehealth can bypass all these steps. You can schedule your appointment online, start your virtual visit immediately without any wait, and get electronic prescriptions sent straight to your pharmacy.
  • woman holding paper and looking at computer
    3. Telehealth lowers costs for diabetes treatment.
    The cost of healthcare is a big concern for everyone, and diabetes is expensive. One out of every seven dollars spent on healthcare goes to diabetes. Doctor’s office visits account for 15% of the expense, while patient hospitalizations account for 30%. Telehealth delivers quality care in a more cost-effective way that also works to reduce the risk of more costly complications and hospitalization. That means less strain on your wallet from out-of-pocket expenses and less worry for you.
  • Gourmet Fruit and Nut Mix
    4. Telehealth can help make dietary changes less overwhelming.
    People living with diabetes typically need to adjust their diets, limiting carbohydrates to keep their blood sugar under control. A dietitian or nutritional counselor can offer invaluable guidance, but time and distance can be hurdles. Telehealth saves time and spans miles to make it easier to get the direction and follow-up you need to make necessary changes. What’s more, telehealth for lifestyle support has become increasingly interactive and personalized, which has been shown to promote better outcomes.
  • woman-stretching-legs-holding-feet
    5. Telehealth offers support for finding safe, enjoyable physical activity.
    Regular exercise is important for those living with diabetes because it helps keep blood sugar in good control and lowers blood pressure. It isn’t advisable, however, for people with diabetes to simply pay for a gym membership and go when they can. Diabetes brings special considerations like working around foot and leg pain. Telehealth makes it easy to connect with a diabetes educator who can design a program you can adopt safely and conveniently at home.
  • Diabetic woman checking her blood sugar levels
    6. Telehealth reduces the risk of disruptive complications.
    When blood sugar isn’t well controlled, serious complications can occur, including retinopathy (eye disease), high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, kidney failure, and amputation of the toe, foot, or leg. Complications increase the time and cost of treatment, while decreasing quality of life. Telehealth makes connecting with all the resources you need to stay on top of blood sugar monitoring more manageable. It enables your healthcare team to be proactive about prevention versus playing catch-up after there’s a problem.
  • senior woman using smartphone
    7. With telehealth, diabetes management is less intimidating.
    Overall, people living with diabetes are singing the praises of telehealth. Fans feel more empowered and independent and have more confidence following their treatment plans. In one study, the top advantages to patients included not only less travel time and lower cost, but also better communication and outcomes. The simplicity of telehealth compared to in-person appointments has wide appeal for many reasons. Talk to your doctor about how it can simplify treatment for you.
Telehealth Appointment for Diabetes | Diabetes Treatment

About The Author

Evelyn Creekmore has more than 15 years of experience writing online educational health content, including nearly 10 years full-time at WebMD, where she was the director of brand content. She holds an MPH in Applied Public Health Informatics from Emory University Rollins School of Public Health and an MA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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  2. Working with Your Diabetes Health Care Team. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9823-working-with-your-diabetes-health-care-team
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  8. Interactive Video Telehealth Models to Improve Access to Diabetes Specialty Care and Education in the Rural Setting: A Systematic Review. American Diabetes Association. https://spectrum.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/2/124
  9. Patients’ perception of using telehealth for type 2 diabetes management: a phenomenological study. BMC Health Services Research. https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-018-3353-x#citeas
  10. A Comparison of Diabetes Education Administered Through Telemedicine Versus in Person. American Diabetes Association. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/4/1002
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Last Review Date: 2020 Jul 24
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